Standard Poodle Health Issues You Should Know

If you plan on getting a Standard Poodle, you must prepare for many common health concerns. That way, you can watch out for any symptoms to prevent and treat possible conditions, as well as keep your Poodle in excellent health for years.

Unfortunately, Standard Poodles have the most severe health issues of all the Poodle varieties. Furthermore, because of their larger size, they have a shorter lifespan than smaller Poodle varieties, about 12-15 years. To maintain your Standard Poodle’s excellent health, here are the health issues you should watch out for as your dog grows.

Addison’s Disease

Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, it’s an endocrine system disorder occurring when a Standard Poodle’s adrenal glands fail to produce adequate hormones to maintain proper body function. If left untreated, it can be fatal, so diagnostic tests and regular vet visits are necessary.

Cushing’s Disease

Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, this refers to adrenal glands malfunction. Because of that, it results in an overproduction of the steroid hormone. It’s a common condition in dogs, with Standard Poodles more likely to be affected.

Cushing’s disease usually develops slowly, and owners often miss the early signs. The symptoms include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced activity levels
  • Drinking and urinating more than usual
  • Potbelly
  • Hair loss
  • Thin skin

Once detected, veterinarians will treat your dog with oral medications.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus

Also known as bloat or GDV, this condition occurs in dogs with deep and narrow chests. That means your Standard Poodle is at risk compared to other dog breeds.

When dogs bloat, the stomach can twist on itself, filling with gas. The twisting would cut the blood supply to the stomach, even the spleen, at times.

If left untreated, the disease may become fatal in a short period, even in just half an hour. The symptoms can include:

  • Retching or heaving with little to no vomit coming out
  • Acting restless
  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Lying in prayer position

If these symptoms appear, then we recommend taking your dog to an emergency pet hospital right away. The vet can perform preventative surgery to tack or suture the stomach to make it less likely to twist.

Canine Epilepsy

Dogs can suffer from three types of seizures which are:

  • Reactive seizures are by the brain’s reaction to metabolic issues such as organ failure, toxins, or low blood sugar.
  • Secondary seizures result from trauma, stroke, or a brain tumor.
  • Primary seizures – If veterinarians can’t find a cause, they call the disease primary or idiopathic epilepsy, an inherited condition Poodles are likely to have.

You must administer lifelong medication to your pup to help keep his seizures under control, along with periodic blood testing. If your Standard Poodle experiences a seizure, prevent him from injuring himself and others.

Thyroid Issues

Poodles are at risk of hyperthyroidism, a common condition occurring when the body can’t produce enough thyroid hormone. The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Dry coat and skin
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Susceptibility to skin diseases
  • Fearfulness and aggression, among other behavioral changes

Vets perform annual blood tests of the disease for early detection. Treatment can be pretty straightforward; usually, veterinarians prescribe replacement hormones through pill form.

Heart Disease

Standard poodles are prone to a life-threatening heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. That occurs when the heart becomes large, weak, and thin, so it can’t effectively pump blood to its body.

When the condition advances, your dog may act weak or tired, even faint, collapse, couch, and breathe hard. Yearly veterinary check-ups are required to conduct an electrical heart screening and echocardiogram to discover any abnormal heart rhythms.

If the vet detects a heart disease, he will treat the condition with medication or other appropriate treatments and recommend dietary supplementation.

Eye Problems

Standard Poodles may inherit or develop various eye conditions, some of which can cause blindness and pain if left untreated.

Here are two common eye conditions that can commonly affect Standard Poodles:

  • Glaucoma is a painful eye disease that may lead to blindness quickly without treatment. Symptoms include watery eyes, squinting, bluing of the cornea, and redness around the white parts of the eyes.
  • Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in older Standard Poodles. The eyes’ lenses become more opaque, and it may require surgery to remove cataracts.

Bleeding Disorders

There are different inherited bleeding disorders dogs may inherit from their parents. The severity ranges from very mild to severe.

Usually, your pet will seem normal until surgery or serious injuries, and that is when severe bleeding may occur. These are two of the more common bleeding disorders a Standard Poodle may be at risk of:

  • Hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia happen when the immune system attacks red blood cells. As a result, your dog becomes weak, lethargic, and anemic. When the immune system destroys more platelets, the blood won’t clot well, resulting in bruising and abnormal bleeding.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: a blood clotting disorder usually found in Standard Poodles. Usually, veterinarians perform surgery to treat the disease.

Bone and Joint Problems

There are numerous musculoskeletal issues reported in Standard Poodles. While overwhelming, veterinarians can diagnose and treat such conditions to prevent pain and suffering.

  • Patellar luxation occurs when your Poodle’s kneecap slips out of place. You’ll notice this if your dog runs and picks up a back leg or hops a bit. Treatments can range from arthritis medication to surgery to realigning the dog’s kneecap.
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia are common in Standard Poodles; it’s an inherited disease causing the dog’s joints to develop improperly, resulting in arthritis. You might notice your dog shows lameness in the legs or finds it difficult to stand up or lie down, which are signs of canine hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

Diabetes

It is a common disease in dogs, and any breed can be affected. Unfortunately, Poodles have an above-average risk. Dogs with diabetes cannot regulate the metabolism of sugars, thus requiring insulin injections daily.

It is a severe condition that veterinarians must diagnose and treat as soon as possible. Some symptoms include:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased eating, and drinking
  • Weight loss

If your dog shows symptoms of diabetes, then take him to the veterinarian, who will conduct laboratory tests to determine if he has the condition. Treatment will take a lot of time and effort, but it will be worth it as well-regulated diabetic Poodles have a similar life expectancy as other dogs. 

Allergies

When humans are allergic to pollen, dust, or mold, it will make them sneeze. With dogs, allergies won’t make them sneeze, but it makes the skin itchy. This skin allergy is known as “atopy,” with Poodles often having it, affecting their stomach, feet, ears, and skin folds.

The symptoms of skin allergies begin between 1-3 years old, worsening each year. The common signs include:

  • Licking paws
  • Rubbing his face
  • Frequent ear infections

There are various treatment options for these allergies, such as topical medication.

Skin Disease (Sebaceous Adenitis)

Poodles are prone to skin conditions, such as sebaceous adenitis. At first, you might see your dog having dry and scaly skin with hair loss or patches on your dog’s head, back, and back of the neck.

Usually, this skin condition develops when your dog hits 1-5 years old. Treatment is typically long-term, including mediation, special shampoos, and fatty acid supplements.

Kidney Disease

Glomerulonephropathy is an inherited disease slowly damaging the dog’s kidneys, which causes early kidney failure. Since damaged kidneys leak protein, veterinarians can diagnose the disease by testing your dog’s urine. Detecting this condition will increase the chances of a more manageable and affordable treatment plan, as well as a happy dog.

Cancer

Cancer is one of the causes of death in senior dogs. Your Poodle is likely to live longer than other dog breeds and has more cancer risk as he ages.

Veterinarians can cure cancer through surgical removal or chemotherapy, and the chance of recovery is higher through early detection. It would be best to take your Standard Poodle to his veterinarian for diagnostic tests.

Dental Disease or Abnormalities

Dental issues are a common chronic problem in pets. It can affect 80% of dogs once they hit two years old. Unfortunately, Standard Poodles are more likely than other dogs to have dental issues.

Dental Disease can begin with tartar build-up on the teeth, progressing to infection of the gum and roots. If left unprevented or untreated, there’s the risk of teeth loss, even damage to the heart, liver, kidney, and joints, which can cut your dog’s life span short.

There are a few dental abnormalities your Standard Poodle can inherit as well, which are common in purebred dogs like Poodles.

  • Overbite or underbite is known as malocclusion.
  • Oligodontia is a dental condition where only some teeth are present
  • Misaligned teeth may occur, which vets correct with braces or extractions

Infections

Standard Poodles are at risk of bacterial and viral infections, including distemper, parvo, and rabies. Fortunately, you can prevent such infections through vaccination.

Parasites

Many types of bugs and worms may invade your Standard Poodle’s body, in and out. From fleas to ricks, even ear mites may infest the ears and skin.

There are also hookworms, heartworms, roundworms, and whipworms, which can get into the system from drinking unclean water, being bitten by parasites, or walking on contaminated soil. Some parasites may transfer to you or other owners, a serious concern.

For Standard Poodles, parasites can cause discomfort, pain, and even worse, death. That’s why it’s essential to test your dog for parasites and take preventative measures.

Obesity

Obesity can be a crucial problem in Standard Poodles, which can cause or worsen back pain, heart disease, joint issues, and digestive and metabolic disorders.

While I understand the temptation of giving your pet your food and more doggie treats, don’t give in! Hug your dog, play a game, go for a walk, or brush her fur. Your dog will feel a ton better without risking health issues.

Taking Care of Your Standard Poodle

If you want to prevent the aforementioned conditions, it’s essential to keep your dog healthy with proper care. Here are a few tips, so your Standard Poodle has an excellent quality of life.

Provide Routine Care

Have routine care for your Standard Poodle and place it into your schedule, including proper diet and daily exercise. Follow these tips:

  • Supervise your Poodle like you would with a toddler. Puppy-proof your home, keep all doors locked, pick up items after yourself, and block any rooms when necessary. That prevents your Standard Poodle from eating or breaking any things.
  • Brush and groom your Standard Poodle regularly to keep his skin and coat healthy and beautiful. You must brush your dog daily and bathe him every 4-6 weeks with proper shampoo and conditioner.
  • Because dental conditions and abnormalities are common in Standard Poodles, so brush your dog’s teeth every other day. Also, check your Poodle’s eyes and ears weekly, inspecting for any infections and the like.
  • Standard Poodles are highly active, so make sure you take her out for plenty of exercise, at least 45-60 minutes a day. This breed is an athletic dog who loves the water, so take him out for a walk, go swimming, and include lots of games to boost her mental stimulation.
  • Ask your dog’s veterinarian about what he should eat, keeping his diet consistent with dietary supplements as needed. Avoid giving your Standard Poodle too many treats, and never give him human food. Provide a high-quality diet at proper amounts appropriate for your dog’s age so that he can maintain a healthy weight.

Spay or Neuter

I highly recommend spaying or neutering your pet. For female Standard Poodles, it means that the vet will surgically remove ovaries and uterus. In males, it means surgically removing the testicles.

Such surgical procedures decrease the risks of certain cancers and will even prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Regular Vet Visits

Just like how we require regular doctor visits, dogs need veterinarian visits, too. Your Standard Poodle requires yearly appointments with diagnostic tests and examinations. That way, the vet can detect many conditions early to treat them as soon as possible for higher chances of recovery (and an expensive bill).

Conduct genetic tests on your Poodle puppy so you’re aware of any conditions he may have in the future. It can help your dog lead a normal life as you can take the appropriate preventative measures. 

I also recommend availing pet health insurance for your Standard Poodle, which can cover most tests and procedures throughout his life. Insurance can cover the costs for that, saving you a lot in the long run.